It’s funny how I wrote the topic for this blog idea quite a while before I actually sat down and wrote it, where at this moment, I’m sitting here literally having launched a support programme called 'All About Balance' to help high performing young women at high school BALANCE their sport, life and school. *Note: Read to the end to learn more about my 6 week e-course for high school girls that I've launched and I am currently taking applications for, or if you don't want to keep reading, click here to learn more and apply! (If I were you, I'd keep reading!)
The reason I’m designing an initiative that’s all about balance is because I’ve been into over 50 schools since the Olympics giving speeches, and I’ve seen first hand how much high schoolers are struggling. They are stressed, anxious, self conscious, afraid of judgement, wrapped up in social media, have a limited attention span, high emotions… the list goes on. I’m also designing this programme for ME at high school, because not so long ago, I was in their shoes and I know exactly how hard it was.
In my final year, I was running around like a headless chicken. I was Head Girl and trying to maintain the Excellence Endorsement. I also went on 6 hockey tournaments and missed a lot of school. My social life and sleep were very limited. On the outside, it looked like I made it through my senior high school years ‘successfully’. Reflecting on those years, however, I was fundamentally in survival mode and spent very little time actually enjoying those moments. How I’d love to go back, knowing what I know now, and re-live the experience! To sit there, take it all in, and appreciate that transformative time in my life.
I’m not saying I would change much, I don’t have regrets. But I do wish I had been given more support to help me manage the load and balance my life.
Jonathan Fields is one of my biggest influencers and he has designed an amazing and simple concept, the idea where we have three buckets in life. (Stemming from his book 'How To Live A Good Life'). The three buckets are: Vitality, Connection and Contribution. A more detailed explanation of the buckets are:
VITALITY: Optimal state of body and mind. Aware and capable of being in the moment. Optimistic about the future. Peaceful, calm, able to dissipate stress. Able to bounce back from adversity. Immersed in a process of growth. Grateful for what's right in life. Fueled by a sense of meaning. Happy.
CONNECTION: Nourishing relationships. How well we know ourselves. Relationship with something greater than ourselves . We love and receive love without condition. We belong- we are seen, understood and embraced by friends with shared values, interests and aspirations.
CONTRIBUTION:How you bring your gifts to the world in a way that is meaningful, in a way that matters and allows you to feel like you matter.. Deeply knowing that you're doing the thing you're here to do.
The rules of the buckets are:
- They leak, so you have to keep filling them
- You are only as full as your lowest bucket
- No matter how hard you try to convince the buckets, they never lie!
Let’s do a little exercise right now to see how full your 3 buckets are. The PDF below is a 60 second snap shot which helps you figure out how full your three buckets are, click here and try this little exercise if you want!
How did you go? Which bucket is the most empty? If there is one that’s outstandingly lower than the other 2, then focus on fixing that one bucket. What can you do to improve it? Read Jonathan’s book “How to live a good life” for practical daily exercises!
I think the key here is ACKNOWLEDGING where you are at. Just identifying in the first place how your buckets are is amazing. Often we go through life without even being aware of how we truly are feeling.
The third bucket for me has been where I’ve felt the most satisfaction. In sport, a lot of what we do is very self focused. Making sure I as an individual am at the top of my game. But I’ve been working on helping others, and it’s given me more reward than I could’ve ever imagined. My advice: What can you bring to the world that makes you happy, and serves others? Do that!
Speaking of, I'm so excited to open applications for my 6 week e-course designed to help high school girls balance their sport, life and books. If you have a daughter who fits this criteria,, or know of someone who does, please share the the link to learn more and apply. www.brookeneal.co.nz/allaboutbalance